What Are The Pros And Cons Of Each Type Of Dog Food
I have put all this information in a handy table for you as it is easier to compare the pros and cons of each type of dog food and hopefully help you decide on the best diet for your German Shepherd.
Before transitioning your dog from one type to another, you may wish to talk to your veterinarian about the individual benefits and risks.
|TYPE OF DOG FOOD|
|No proven health benefits except for better digestionExpensive and time-consuming if preparing at homeRegular health checks advised|
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Dog Food
Made with quality ingredients such as chicken, wholesome veggies, fruits and legumes, the Blue Buffalo food provides plenty of energy and essential nutrients for the highly-active adult German Shepherd in your life. Empowering your dog to live to its fullest is a bevy of antioxidant-rich ingredients such as peas, sweet potatoes, flaxseed, blueberries, carrots and more. The kibble also takes care of your German Shepherds coat and skin, thanks to the inclusion of menhaden fish meal which provides optimal levels of EPA and DHA. Because there are no grains, soy, meat by-products or artificial additives, this formula is a good choice for dogs who suffer from various food allergies, although any adult GSD will thrive on it as well. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe is one of 10 dog food recipes included in our overview of Blue Buffalo Dog Food.
Amount of calories for every serving: 409 per cup
Minimum amount of proteins in %: 34
Minimum amount of fat in %: 15
Maximum amounts of moisture and fiber in %: 10 and 6
Top 3 ingredients: deboned chicken, chicken meal, peas
Glucosamine, vitamins and minerals, 5 strains of probiotic organisms
Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Puppy Health Dog Food
The Holistic Select pet food company has been around for more than a decade. One of the tenets that Holistic Select thrives on is in creating dog food that is 100% natural, high-quality, and that support the digestive health systems for dogs.
We gave the Holistic Select Puppy Dog Food a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars.
Unique Health Support
Why we choose this as the best food for the German Shepherd puppy is because of its exceptional health support. Many puppies find it challenging to digest foods during the first couple of days. The Holistic Puppy Health Dog Food is built with this in mind. It has a blend of probiotics and enzymes that make it easy for your puppy to digest.
Healthy Fat Sources
While Holistics advertising stresses on the merits of the digestive systems, its also worth noting that this dog food is a source for healthy fats. These are obtained from the whole grains and lean meat of lamb instead of chicken fat. Chicken fat is not unhealthy per se, but lamb is way more nutritious.
Considering how big or quickly your German Shepherd puppy grows, a single bag of food may run out rather fast. If you have a small budget, this could pose a challenge given the high price of the Holistic Select Puppy Health Food.
A majority of people are beginning to embrace a holistic lifestyle and this includes the food they eat. Precise believes that dogs should not be left behind in this movement.
We rated this dog food product 4.4 out of 5 stars.
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What To Consider When Buying Food For Your German Shepherds
To pick the best, healthiest food for your Shepherd, pay attention to the following things:
- The life stage of your dog
Adults, puppies, seniors, pregnant, and lactating dogs have different nutritional requirements owing to the unique differences in their physiological functions. A puppy will require more calories, fat, and protein to develop properly, while an adult German Shepherd will typically need lower-calorie food thats high to moderately rich in protein. Senior dogs will benefit more from a moderate protein, low-calorie diet that is supplemented with glucosamine, while pregnant and nursing German Shepherds may benefit more from eating a high-calorie diet that resembles that of puppies.
- Activity level
On average, an adult active German Shepherd will require about 1,700 to 2,100 calories per day, however, a GSD that works or engages in very strenuous exercise may have to be bumped to 2,500 calories or even 2,800 calories. GSDs with sedentary lifestyles will require about 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day. How active your pet is is an important factor to consider when buying dog foods because you want your pups diet to support their needs, not work against them.
- Potential health problems
Wet Dog Food For German Shepherds
If you have a German shepherd that is only a few months old, getting wet canned dog food is a good choice. It is easier to chew and your puppy will not have a hard time digesting it.
Wet canned dog food contains about 80 percent water so your dog can easily absorb the nutrients. Since German Shepherds have problems with digestion, this is one of the best foods that you can give them.
If there are leftovers, make sure that you put them inside the refrigerator and remove the food from the can. If you want to feed this to adult dogs, you can combine wet and dry dog foods.
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Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Puppy Health
Best German Shepherd Dog Food for Puppies: Puppies grow up fast, so the quality of their diet matters greatly. If youre looking for the best food for German Shepherd puppy, we recommend Holistic Select Large & Giant Breed Puppy Health Lamb Meal & Oatmeal Recipe. As a German Shepherd puppy food, this formula provides the optimal balance of quality protein and healthy fats to support your puppys growth and development. It features both lamb meal and chicken meal as concentrated sources of protein, with digestible whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal for carbohydrate support. It is loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables to provide natural sources for key nutrients, with vitamins and chelated minerals to ensure optimal nutritional balance. It also contains probiotics for healthy digestion, antioxidants for immunity, and DHA fatty acids for brain and eye development. Overall, its a great choice for your puppy!
- Pros: Formulated for large breeds, concentrated source of animal protein, antioxidant-rich superfoods, digestible whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, chelated minerals, probiotics
- Cons: Not a grain-free recipe
Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Adult
Coming in fourth is Wellness Large Breed dog food specifically designed to meet the needs of large breed dogs.
It contains four high-quality protein sources, but, like Whole Earth Farms, is lower in protein than the top two . This makes it suitable for less active dogs.
Another plus is that Whole Earth Farms also includes glucosamine and chondroitin for your German Shepherd’s bone and joint health.
This dog food also contains a range of fruits and vegetables, including, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, apples and sweet potatoes, which makes the formula very vitamin-rich.
Wellness products are also free from preservatives, chemicals, additives, and by-products, as well as common allergens like corn, soy, and wheat.
This product lacks most common allergens. However, it does contain rice, which may still cause allergic reactions in some German Shepherds.
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Our Top Pick Taste Of The Wild High Prairie
Made with high-quality ingredients, including a host of nutritious animal protein sources and antioxidant-packed veggies and fruits, the Taste of the Wilds High Prairie Canine Recipe has got to be our top pick. With a whopping seven different animal proteins, this recipe contains all essential amino acids your Shepherd needs to remain strong, agile, and healthy. The formula also contains chondroitin and glucosamine for joint health, probiotics for digestive and immune health, and essential fatty acids for skin, coat, heart, and brain health. One of the best foods for GSDs, hands down!
German Shepherd Puppy Nutritional Needs
German Shepherd is a large breed and grows very quickly from newborn to adult puppy. German Shepherd puppies require at least 500 calories per day.
As they gain weight, the amount gradually increases. Young adult puppies need between 1500 and 1700 calories per day.
The best dog food for a German Shepherd puppy should have all the necessary nutrients in the right amounts. This is explained below:
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German Shepherd Puppy Diet: Food Plan After 4 Months
Between 4 and 6 months of age, the number of meals should be reduced to 3 a day. The food quantity should be increased and an extra margin of 2 minutes to eat should be provided. The packaging of quality commercial dog food will detail the appropriate suggested amount of food for the puppy, depending on its age and weight. If you have any doubts, consult your veterinarian.
You should eventually start mixing fresh food, such as meat, fish or vegetables, with the commercial dry feed. Beware of forbidden foods for dogs. Some people ask about a raw diet for a German shepherd puppy, but we recommend these such foods should always be cooked and never given to a dog raw. Avoid chicken, rabbit and fish bones, as they can shatter and harm a dogs teeth.
Wet food should be given in moderation because given in excess, it can cause the development of plaque and cause the dogs feces to smell. Meanwhile, treats for dogs should only be used as positive reinforcement during their training and learning period, never as a food supplement.
Under no circumstances should you give your German Shepherd, or any dog, human food leftovers. Human food contains salt, sugar and seasoning contents which are very harmful to a dogs health. In addition, if you do offer your dog your food, it will pester you during meals. For more, take a look at some of the harmful effects of treating a dog like a human.
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Ingredients To Look For In A Healthy Dog Food For German Shepherds
When picking out the best dog food for German Shepherds, look for these ingredients on the ingredients panel:
- Unprocessed protein sources like deboned chicken, beef, or fish
- Fish oil and flaxseed oil for omega fatty acids
- Grain-free or whole grain
- Blueberries, kale, spinach, broccoli, and beets for antioxidants
- Easily digestible carbohydrates like barley, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes
You should also read the guaranteed analysis panel for a crude protein content of 30% or higher, a crude fiber content of 6% or higher, a crude fat content of 20% or higher, and amino acids like arginine, leucine, and carnitine.
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Best Dog Food For German Shepherds: 8 Vet Recommended Brands
Dog lovers are hard-pressed to find a pup as reliable and dedicated as the German Shepherd. The German Shepherd dog, or GSD , have been one of the most popular dogs in the USA for over 50 years. To raise a healthy GSD, you’ll need to know all about the proper training this breed requires, potential health issues and the best dog food for German Shepherds.
In 2016, the German Shepherd took the honor of the second most popular dog in America. As a veterinarian, GSDs are one of my most common patients, and most vets usually have to study this breed extensively. Behavior, predispositions and nutritional needs have been documented through the years and help keeping GSDs healthy.
Proper nutrition is key to having a healthy dog, and finding the best dog food for German Shepherd is especially important. These dogs are active breeds that love to work. They need to be fed a diet that will meet their nutritional needs to keep the body in top shape.
In this article, I will further discuss the nutritional needs of German Shepherds, what this dog breed is like, my personal experience as a vet with them. We’ll mostly focus on how to feed a German Shepherd dog and review top best dog foods for German Shepherds:
|Dog Food Brands|
* Click on the German Shepherd dog food brand for information and prices. Or scroll down below for more details.
Rich In Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids
These fatty acids are responsible for your dogs healthy skin and shiny coat. According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials, a non-profit organization that sets food standards for animals and pets, the right amount of fat intake of a German shepherd should be 5% to 8%.
Omega 3 can be found in anchovies, phytoplankton and krill oil while omega 6 is found in most animal fats and vegetable oils.
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Analyze The Protein Content
Most dog foods also have a crude protein analysis on the label. A growing puppy should be eating dry dog food that contains at least 29% crude protein content. This level of crude protein will give them about 20-25% off their daily caloric intake from protein alone.
Whole meat should be one of the first two ingredients listed on the dog foods ingredient list. Meat is the most natural and beneficial source of protein for your pooch. The protein in real meat will contribute to a well-rounded amino acid profile. If possible, purchase dog food that has two separate sources of meat listed in the first three ingredients on the label.
Taste Of The Wild Pacific Stream
- Grain-free formula.
This recipe is made without grain, potatoes, by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors or preservatives. Only 100% natural ingredients are used in this formula. Its made with smoked salmon, which is a taste that many dogs love as much if not more than chicken or red meat. Salmon is also the first ingredient.
This dog food recipe is also packed with extra nutrients and antioxidants. These will help boost your pups immune system. They will also help keep your German Shepherds digestive system in tip top condition.
We love that this recipe contains Taste of the Wilds proprietary probiotics. This will ensure your German Shepherds gut health is a priority during their adult years.
What Do I Feed A German Shepherd Puppy
While my German Shepherd puppy grew, I fed him Blue Buffalo Freedom.
Was it the best dog food for a German Shepherd puppy? I am not sure. I know this:
The Large Breed Puppy formula has a calcium ratio of 1.2% and a phosphorus ratio of 0.95%. He ate this formula for about 3 months or so. This is what the breeder was feeding him, so I did the same for awhile during his growing phase. He grew like a weed during that time.
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Although the ratios were right, I was not impressed with the stools or the recall history for the company.
I went searching for dog food at boutique pet shops rather than box stores. I found Fromm.
Best Dog Food For German Shepherds: Gsds With Skin Allergies And Sensitive Stomachs Take Solace
Although the best dog food for German Shepherds may be a biologically appropriate raw food diet, I have tried different dry kibble for my picky eater.
My pooch sampled Blue Buffalo, Castor & Pollux, Fromm, Acana, Taste of the Wild, and Victor dog food.
He did well on all of them , but I found a few brands cost prohibitive and a few lacking quality. My favorite now is Victor dog food.
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Diamond Naturals Adult Dog Food
- Budget-friendly formula.
Blue Buffalo have created this recipe inspired by the German Shepherds ancestor, the wolf, and his protein rich diet which promotes strong muscle growth. It is 100% grain-free for dogs who suffer with grain allergies. This dog food also contains healthy carbohydrates such as sweet potato and peas that will keep his energy up throughout the day.
Blue Buffalos Wilderness recipe also includes omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which promote a healthy and shiny coat. Also included is their exclusive Lifesource Bits that provide your dog with a precise blend of antioxidants and minerals to provide a healthy oxidative balance.
We love that the Bison, Rabbit and Red Meat recipes are chicken and poultry free, and grain free, as some German Shepherds can be intolerant of chicken which is regularly found in dog food.
Concluding Thoughts: Best Dog Food For German Shepherds
So, there you have your answers. This is not a simple subject, so we hope we havent gone over your head with all this medical talk.
At the same time, it is our goal to help all of our readers to become experts with the same level of knowledge that we have. To accomplish that, you will have to put in a little bit of work.
If it seems like a waste of time, just take a look at your lovable canine friend one more time and then tell us that they arent worth a little reading! Chances are, you cannot do that any more than we can.
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Hills Science Diet Puppy Dog Food
Provide your German Shepherd puppy with the proper nutrition they need for a healthy lifestyle by feeding them the Hills Science Dry Dog food.
This dry food is formulated with wholesome ingredients like chicken meal and oats to meet the nutritional needs of your growing puppy.
This formula is manufactured in the United States following the industry standards and each ingredient meets the nutrient content and purity requirements.
The Hills Science Diet Puppy food is the best dog food for German Shepherd puppy who will be more than 55 pounds when they are an adult and is less than 1 year old.
Hills conduct quality system audits annually in their manufacturing facilities to ensure that the ingredients used in this formula are high in quality and standards.
The company also conducts safety checks to ensure that the food is safe for your German Shepherd puppy.
The Hills Science Dry food has a rich aroma and different textures to ensure that mealtimes are irresistible for your puppy. It also features controlled calcium levels, chondroitin, Glucosamine, antioxidants, and a blend of Vitamin C and E.
- Supports the optimal growth of your puppys bones.
- Supports healthy joints and strong muscles.
- Helps to maintain a healthy immune system.
- No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
- Foul smell in some batches.